Jamie Hamilton (publisher)

James Hamish Hamilton (15 November 1900 – 24 May 1988) was a half-American half-Scot rower who competed for Great Britain in the 1928 Summer Olympics. He founded the publishing house Hamish Hamilton Limited.

Olympic medal record
Men's rowing
Silver medal – second place 1928 Amsterdam Eight
A portrait of Jamie Hamilton at the Thames Rowing Club

Hamilton studied law and language at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge before attracting attention as an oarsman with Thames Rowing Club. He was a member of the Thames eight which won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 1927. The Thames eight including Hamilton, won the Grand Challenge Cup again in 1928 and was chosen to represent Great Britain rowing at the 1928 Summer Olympics where they won a silver medal.[1] He married Jean Forbes-Robertson in 1929,[2] but the marriage ended in 1933.

Hamilton was an employee of the book department at Harrod's before founding his own publishing house Hamish Hamilton in the 1930s. He went on to publish a large number of promising British and American authors, many of whom were personal friends and acquaintances of Jamie Hamilton. Jamie Hamilton sold the firm to the Thomson Organisation in 1965, who resold it to Penguin Books in 1986,[3]

(Hamish comes from the Gaelic form, James the English form – which was also his given name, and Jamie the diminutive form). Jamie Hamilton was often referred to as Hamish Hamilton.


  1. ^ Sports Reference Olympic Sports – James Hamilton Archived 24 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "London Actress to Wed", The Montreal Gazette, 19 July 1929, p. 10, accessed 17 December 2012
  3. ^ A biography of Jamie Hamilton and a history of Hamish Hamilton Archived 2 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine at the official Hamish Hamilton site